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P&S Surgical Hospital is the region’s first to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF). The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure.

The CardioMEMS HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The new system allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from their homes to their healthcare providers, allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

“Recurrent admissions for congestive heart failure is a major problem in the healthcare industry,” said Dr. Gregory C. Sampognaro, a cardiologist who performs the new procedure at P&S Surgical Hospital’s Cardiac and Peripheral Vascular Lab. “This is a novel device that allows us to monitor the pressures in a patient’s heart and lungs from their homes so we that we can try to adjust medications before it’s too late, and they have to be admitted to the hospital. By monitoring their pressures, we can adjust medications before they even begin having symptoms.”

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life, and face a higher risk of death.

Patient Wilhelmina Rembert from West Monroe recently received the new device and is thankful she did. At 89 years old, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure several years ago, and it has worsened in the last year, she said.

“Overall, I just feel better, I can walk further, and I’m so pleased.” Rembert said. “I’ve also never had better care than when I went to P&S. They are experienced, attentive, gentle, compassionate and very patient-oriented. And I have put my life in Dr. Sampognaro’s hands more than once; he is fantastic.”

P&S Surgical Hospital cardiologists Dr. Mahmoud Khalil, Dr. Mark Napoli, and Dr. Assad Mouhaffel are also certified to perform the CardioMEMS sensor, which is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings.

The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

Data from a clinical trial showed that the CardioMEMS technology reduces heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent. The CHAMPION trial studied the effectiveness of the CardioMEMS HF System in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification System class III heart failure patients who had been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous 12 months. Results of the trial demonstrated a statistically significant 28 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure hospitalizations at six months, and 37 percent reduction in heart failure hospitalizations during an average follow-up duration of 15 months.

Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have NYHA Class III heart failure, and historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030.

“P&S Surgical Hospital is committed to improving patient care and investing in innovative medical technology such as the CardioMEMS HF System,” said P&S Surgical Hospital CEO Linda S. Holyfield. “Our hospital strives to create preventative measures that result in successful patient outcomes in the diagnosis or treatment of heart failure.”

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.heartfailureanswers.com/